Bohemian Rhapsody, Bryan Singer, Entertainment, Sexual Assault, social good

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ pulled from GLAAD Media Awards after sexual assault allegations

Hollywood has been slow to respond to the new sexual assault allegations against director Bryan Singer, published in a bombshell Atlantic exposé yesterday, Jan. 23. 

But the LGBTQ media alliance group GLAAD is taking matters into its own hands.

Bohemian Rhapsody, directed by Singer, was officially pulled from the list of nominees for outstanding film (wide release) at the GLAAD Media Awards, Variety reports.

“This week’s story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded,” GLAAD wrote in a statement.

“Singer’s response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used ‘homophobia’ to deflect from sexual assault allegations and GLAAD urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first,” it added.

In a statement provided to press by representatives yesterday, Singer continued to deny all allegations.

 “It is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success,” he said.

Rumors and even a lawsuit regarding the assault of a minor by Singer date back to 1997. But the Atlantic story added four more men to the long list of accusers, all of whom say they were underage at the time of the events in question.

GLAAD’s decision comes with a heavy heart, since they initially had high praise for the Freddy Mercury biopic:

“The team that worked so hard on Bohemian Rhapsody as well as the legacy of Freddy Mercury deserve so much more than to be tainted in this way. Bohemian Rhapsody brought the story of LGBTQ icon Freddy Mercury to audiences around the world, many of whom never saw an out and proud lead character in a film or saw the impact of HIV and AIDS in fair and accurate ways. The impact of the film is undeniable. We believe, however, that we must send a clear and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth and all survivors of sexual assault that GLAAD and our community will stand with survivors and will not be silent when it comes to protecting them from those who would do them harm.”

Outside of GLAAD and Time’s Up, few other industry bodies have taken action to stand with the alleged victims. The Academy, for example, has yet to weigh in on its five Oscar nominations for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Unlike accused predators Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, Singer has yet to face many repercussions for the new wave of allegations. Best known for directing the original X-Men movies and The Usual Suspects, he’s also still set to direct the upcoming Red Sonja reboot.

In a statement to Hollywood Reporter, Red Sonja producer Avi Lerner said, “The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen. I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision.”

It is unclear exactly how box office numbers factor into determining the accuracy of the Atlantic‘s investigation or the multiple accusations of sexual assault.

Hopefully, however, GLAAD will set a new precedent. 

“Other films that involve Singer now or in the future should take note of the backlash to The Atlantic story and other previous allegations. The industry cannot let those who perpetuate harms against anyone – especially vulnerable young people – go unnoticed or unchecked any longer,” the organization’s statement concluded.

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